The raw sound of Alberta Adams’ voice will tell you pretty much everything you need to know about the blues. But what really makes the woman special is her ability to tell the kind of stories that so many people can relate to and appreciate. On “Everybody Got Their Hand Out,” the eighth track on Adams’ second full-length release under her own name, she exhibits this talent at its best.
“I been free-hearted all my life, but I’m tired. I’m tired.” It’s one very telling line. A line that essentially works as an extended monologue, describing her I’ve-had-it-up-to-here frustration with the type of folks who won’t speak to you one day, but then ask you to let them hang their clothes in your closet the next because “I ain’t got nowhere to stay.”
On “Nothing More to Say,” her duet with fellow Detroit blues veteran Johnnie Bassett about an exhausted relationship, anyone who has been there and lived to tell the tale can feel her pain. The one other cut that really grabbed me was the Johnny “Guitar” Watson-sounding number, “I Want a Man,” written by Detroit’s own Bill Heid.
Still, Say Baby Say doesn’t seem to have quite the same warm feel or the potent groove ingredient of her debut album, Born With the Blues. The songs are well written, the band tight and well rehearsed and Alberta’s voice delivers as always … but something is missing.
Keith A. Owens is a Detroit-based freelance writer and musician. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.